I woke this morning, feeling a bit more rested than I have the past few days. I am hopeful, and it does appear as though the bug I have been doing battle with is preparing to leave the field with its tail between its nasty little legs. While I was not really enthusiastic about breakfast this morning, it did not awaken that awful little barf monster who has been my constant side kick for too long now. I actually contemplated going outside for a bike ride this morning, but given my recent state of constant nausea, I opted to get my workout in the house. My feeling was that it would be much easier to bail if I discovered mid stroke, that I wasn’t ready for this level of activity.
Splashfit Torture of the Day Spin indoors 45 minutes, 5 min hard effort, 5 min recover Superset x 3 100 Bodyweight Squats 50 Single Leg Donkey Calf Raises 100 Alternating Lunges and done! The workout today felt like a workout should. Even with the air conditioning running on high, when finished, I was dripping in sweat. I feel great! I feel energized, strong, fit, and healthy! I feel ready to take on my day! With the Crossfit craze overtaking the nation, there is a lot of emphasis being placed on HIIT. (High Intensity Interval Training) . I follow quite a few trainers on line, and it is pretty standard dialog to insinuate, if not just say it directly, that if you are working out for more than an hour a day, you are pretty much just wasting your time. Just this morning, I read another article on Outside Magazine online (great mag), that was trying to dispel the notion of long distance running as a training tool to prepare for a marathon. It inferred that running 5 miles a day at the same pace would not give you much benefit, and if you're not improving, then what's the point? I agree with this to a degree. I always, always, always add short duration and high intensity sessions to my workouts. That being said, I am an endurance athlete. I live to challenge myself with all day long endeavors. Just for the mental preparedness aspect of a day long event, I find that I need to incorporate some longer duration training into my fitness routine. I believe that when building up to a long cycling event, time in the saddle is crucial. If you want to debunk that theory, and think that a 20 minute Tabata style training alone is going to get you through a century bicycling event, just let me know how your ass feels at the end of that ride! So bottom line for me, HIIT is great. I love adding intervals to my training, but I am not ready just yet, to throw out my longer endurance training sessions.
The temperature outside this afternoon was hovering right around one hundred degrees fahrenheit. Of course, as any sane person would do, I headed for the nearby river. Today’s activity was a lesson in rowing. This is not your easy going, Sunday on the lake, rowboat type of rowing, but rather, lock your legs in, don’t tip over, screaming backwards at breakneck speeds, racing scull rowing. I have to say, that for living in a small town, I have had surprising access to instruction in some really wonderful athletic endeavors. So, I think to myself, I use the rowing machine (also known simply as “erg” in rowing circles) at the gym, how hard could it be? Well, I can testify… Sculling is a completely different activity. The addition of those gigantic oars, the tippy nature of the scull itself, combined with the resistance of the water and my tendency to want to bury said oars in the inky depths of the river,left me completely engaged and immersed in this activity.
My initial trip down the river went well I thought, until I crashed the scull into the shore, causing much grimacing and groaning from my instructors and owners of said scull. Apparently, these little racing beauties are rather costly and fragile. Sigh. This little crash inspired some “on the water” coaching. In spite of my initial awkwardness at traveling backwards, the instruction appeared to do the trick. By the end of my session, when I was told it was time to get out of the water (story of my life), I had actually begun to grasp the concepts of the different phases of the stroke and was moving smoothly and rapidly across the river. So intent was my focus on the river and learning the new activity, that after an hour and a half on the water, I was certain that I had only been out for 10 minutes or so. My instructors were great and very complimentary regarding my efforts and progress; however, I will say that if you are going to blow sunshine up somebody’s proverbial ass, it ceases to be sunshine when you confess said travesty.
Heading home from the river to fix supper, I was hit by the realization that I WAS RAVENOUS! If you have been following me here, you know that I have been battling a little virus that took away my appetite. I am a fit, strong, healthy woman. I am incredibly active and as a result, I EAT A LOT! I am not one of those petite little flowers, who pick at the offerings on their dinner plate with feigned delicacy to maintain a tiny and frail little body. I am an athlete (not a natural one, but an athlete nonetheless). I need fuel for my tank. One of the nicknames I have been given is THE BEAR. In 2005, when I returned from my 2,600 mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail, I was lamenting to a girlfriend, that all I wanted to do was sleep and eat blueberries. She exclaimed, “Oh my God, you’re a bear!” I had to laugh, and because it rang so close to the truth, the nickname stuck. I know there are people out there who do not feel the need to eat regularly, and when I am with them, I have to constantly assert my right to regular meals. It’s not uncommon for me to hear, “oh, gotta feed the bear”, and “is the bear hungry?” Well tonight, after rowing, finally feeling ravenous for the first time in a week, I am happy to say that the bear is back.